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Support Wildlife & Your Gardens with Your Leaves

It’s that time of year – the leaves are falling, and some are not where you would like them to be. Many homeowners spend countless hours raking and blowing leaves and even paying to have them hauled off. Not to say that you should leave all the leaves where they fall. Certainly, leaves need to be removed from steps and driveways and any areas where they could create a safety hazard, but many leaves can be left in the more natural areas of your yard to provide protection and overwintering habitat for many non-migrating insects, birds and other wildlife. If your yard and garden area are too tidy, you are not providing this essential habitat for pollinators and those critters that provide pest control and healthy soils. We recommend leaving as many as you can for the sake of the wildlife that depends on them - this will also benefit your yard in the long run!

So what about the leaves you do need to remove/want to tidy?

One option is to add raked leaves to gardens and around plants you know to be extra cold sensitive for more winter insulation. This is very effective when overwintering potted plants - cluster pots together for increased warmth and humidity, and then pile leaves on and around them (adding a bit of mesh is helpful so th